Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Bears in the Pyrenees

I phoned Mrs. Fingers from Toulouse this afternoon once I'd got straight, put a load of washing on (God, how fucking boring one's life becomes) and she said she'd had a visit from a big, tall park ranger. Right! Cat's away, mice will play 'n' all that; so what was this about? When we all set off to the car this afternoon there was a state ranger van parked up near the house and, yes, it was his. He'd knocked on the door and asked if Mrs. F had seen any unusual tracks in the snow, an unlikely chat-up line if ever I'd heard one. Anyway, he just wanted to inform us that there were bears about and to keep everything locked at night. By the summer there'd be fifteen in that part of the mountains, all Slovenian I'd imagine since the brainless hunters around here have 'inadvertently' killed off the entire indigenous stock (as well as quite a few humans, including a friend's father) and Mitteleuropa became south-west France's only hope of continuing an oursine tradition in their mountains. Anyhow, I'm here in Toulouse, lying in bed, listening to Wagner on iTunes and typing this post whilst wild bears encircle my family and hunky park rangers have their sordid way with my fragrant spouse 100 miles away, 3000 feet up a snow-clad mountain. Nice feeling. Work really does get in the way of life - or at least holidays - doesn't it? On reflection, I have absolutely no cause for complaint: since mid-December I've had a month completely free of work commitments and the next time my cast-iron presence is required is May 15th. A month later I'm off to Germany for ten weeks, so you won't hear me wailing any time soon. All I'm hoping is that I get tenure before austerity measures truly hit France, but that's another post entirely. Here's a Pyrenean brown bear, presumably just before it goes through our bins:

No comments: